The screenplay by Anthony Shaffer , inspired by David Pinner 's novel Ritual , centres on the visit of Police Sergeant Neil Howie to the isolated island of Summerisle, in search of a missing girl. Howie, a devout Christian, is appalled to find that the inhabitants of the island have abandoned Christianity and now practise a form of Celtic paganism. Paul Giovanni composed the film score.
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His investigation brings chilling consequences as he finds himself in the midst of a sinister pagan cult, where nude dancing, frog swallowing and human sacrifice are all on the agenda. Tonight, as part of its Gothic season, the BFI is honouring the film's 40th anniversary, showing the a final cut of the haunting screenplay. It has since been restored by StudioCanal to all its eerie glory, and the originally intended length of 92 minutes. To celebrate the film's return to the big screen, AnOther present their top 10 Wicker Man facts. Despite the film's iconic status today, it was originally made on a tiny budget, and only an minute version was shown in the cinema. Christopher Lee was outraged by this referring to the short version as "a shadow of the film we actually made". Although set in the middle of Spring, it was filmed during October and November, plastic blossoms had to be stuck to the trees and the actors had to suck on ice cubes during outdoor scenes to stop their breath from freezing. Former Bond girl Britt Ekland starred as the seductive innkeeper's daughter in the film. However it was later revealed that almost all of her dialogue and singing was re-dubbed by Scottish singer and actress, Annie Ross.
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Britt Ekland's SEXIEST movies
The sight of her in a tiny bikini bending over and accidentally pushing a dangerous button with her behind is a classic cinema moment but she also hit headlines with her full-frontal seductive dance in The Wicker Man the year before. Ekland later revealed that although she completely stripped off for the scene, she did not allow the camera to film one part of her body and the film makers secretly reshot the scene adding in a body double, a "stripper from Glasgow. Ekland said: "For me anything below the waist is private so I was prepared to be topless on film but I would not show my bottom and my agent made that very clear. No one told me, neither before nor after it happened. Ekland added: "Her bottom was much bigger than mine and she wore a blonde wig that was longer than my own hair. It was ridiculous and I was very upset. Well, when you see her swaying, it looks pretty professional.
The Wicker Man Fansite about the film. Movie Mistakes Do you nit pick through films? Can you add a Wicker Man blooper to this page? The film was cut from minutes to 87 minutes on release. The longer version is still missing but is believed to be buried in the foundations of a motorway! If you look carefully in the final scene, you can see Edward Woodward being peed on from above by a goat. This occurred on each of the many takes of the scene!